I have a confession.
I’ve never really been a baby person.
I mean, I like babies okay, I have just always preferred toddlers and older kids. You know, kids that played games and made silly faces and had a personality. Kids that did more than poop and pee and feed and sleep.
Then I met this guy.
And everything changed.
This guy has flipped my world upside down. He’s six days old now. Almost one whole week. We’ve been home with him for four days, and today is the first day him and I have really been alone.
It has been a blissful day, filled with poop and spit up and leaky boobs. I’ve loved every minute of it.
But I had some worries about bringing this guy home.
First, nursing. Breastfeeding is important to me, and I knew babies fed every 2-3 hours. And each feeding can take up to 40 minutes. I’m not a math major, but that equals something like human cow. I wasn’t sure how that was going to work.
The first day or two of nursing were rough. I had to call the lactation consultant every time he wanted to eat because he wasn’t latching on. We were both ending up frustrated. They were worried he wasn’t getting enough milk, so I started pumping while still in the hospital- weeks ahead of what I had planned. I am so glad I did. Not only was I assured that he was getting enough, but the husband is able to help out with one or two feedings a day. This gives me some flexability and lets him bond with Daddy. I was worried about him getting confused between the bottle nipple and the real nipple- this wasn’t just my worry, it’s a real thing- but so far, so good. Nursing has been going really well since we’ve gotten the hang of it, and this cute guy finishes his feeding in 10-20 minutes usually. Pfhew.
My second worry was sleep. The husband and I both love and need our sleep. I heard you don’t get much of that when a new baby comes.
In the hospital, the baby spent some of the night in our room and some of the night in the nursery. We didn’t feel bad sending him to the nursery. We knew we’d get plenty of him soon. At home, the first two nights went okay. They weren’t awful, but they weren’t great. The second two nights were awesome!!!!! I won’t bore you with the details, but both the hubs and I have been getting a really decent amount of sleep. Isn’t it funny how everything is a little bit better when you’re well-rested? We’re praying that this continues and isn’t a fluke, because that helps everything else go smoothly.
Physically, I am recovering nicely. I didn’t realize quite how traumatic birth is on the female body, and have a whole new respect for what the body can do. Six days after giving birth, I am pretty much back to normal. I have the usual battle scars, which shall not be discussed due to grossness. But I am feeling great. The weirdest physical thing is my legs. I didn’t use my legs that much during labor, but afterwards I sort of feel like a baby giraffe learning to walk for the first time. When I stood up for the first time after giving birth, I nearly fell over. No joke- the nurse had to steady me. My legs were wobbly and weak; my knees would randomly buckle and my ankles would randomly roll. I constantly felt like I might fall down and would not hold the baby while walking for the first couple days. It was strange and I don’t know why they felt that way. They are gaining strength and I no longer worry that I’m going to randomly fall. Which probably means I will.
Emotionally, I’m up and down but mostly up. Mostly riding the high this baby has put me on. There are times when I get overwhelmed with all the changes or all the feedings or all the stuff to do, when I start to feel the responsibility for this new life and am not sure I’m up for the job. But those moments are fleeting, because then I look at this:
The hubs and I have been together for over eight years, since I was 20-years-old. He’s my best pal and we have a lot of fun together. I’ve been anxious to see him as a daddy and anxious to see how that changes our relationship. As a daddy, he is so, so good. The other day I took the dogs on a walk (without falling) and came home to baby and daddy having tummy time together. He is constantly telling me random facts he has researched, like what the baby’s stomach capacity is or how many dirty diapers the baby should have or how to perfect swaddling (which I still haven’t done). The husband was offended when he built a profile on BabyCenter.com and the website said something about “connecting with other moms.” He looks for Daddy blogs and is great at getting the baby to calm down. Watching him become a daddy has caused me to fall in love with him all over again. The baby is so lucky to have my husband as a daddy.
As for our relationship, it’s too early to tell. We’ve definitely worked more as a team over the past week than at anytime before. But our time together now is so limited, and when we do have it we are usually comparing schedules or going over who is visiting when or what we are having for dinner. Glamorous stuff (random sidenote: is it bad that everytime I type glamorous, I have to think of that Fergie song to know how to spell it?). We need to make sure we spend a few minutes each day connecting over stuff that is not baby-related. And we already have offers to baby-sit when we’re ready for that first date! After eight years, it’s weird to lose the freedom of doing what you want when you want, and that’s something we’re still getting used to.
So there you have it. Our adjustment has not been without hiccups, but overall it is going really well. We feel so incredibly lucky to get to parent this precious baby boy, and thank God every day for him. The years of waiting, the crazy ride we’ve been on, the 72 hours of contractions- they were all worth it.